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Underground Railroad and brush with LeVias

Underground Railroad and brush with LeVias

No singular figure or moment represents the integration of college football, but Jerry LeVias stands out for encompassing so much history in a tumultuous fight for equal opportunity – at least on the playing field. His story also is unique for crossing paths with influential...

The 1967 NFL Draft changed the face of league

The 1967 NFL Draft changed the face of league

A half-century ago the NFL Draft was so simple NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle stood at a chalkboard in a New York hotel ballroom. He scrawled names in chalk as they were called out.The anticipation hovering over the draft was not about who would go where. It was relief players...

Duke turns digital to help with draft process

Duke turns digital to help with draft process

The past week NFL general managers and their scouts, prior to social distancing, assembled in a room to tie up loose ends prior to making their draft picks. The gatherings include “readings” to finalize their strategy. Scouts read their evaluations of players that ranged from...

Bobby Mitchell was another Green Book story

Bobby Mitchell was another Green Book story

I always say people don't realize how recent was segregation until it is pointed out to them men like Bobby Mitchell and Jimmy Raye, along with Raye's Michigan State teammates now in their 70s, are still walking around.Now, Mitchell is gone, joining other pioneers.Mitchell was...

Fouts on Lynch reviving Niners and the Hall

Fouts on Lynch reviving Niners and the Hall

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch grew up a fan of Air Coryell’s San Diego Chargers. He played quarterback at suburban San Diego's Torrey Pines High, earning a scholarship from Stanford. Lynch watched on Sundays as Air Coryell set the blueprint for NFL passing...

The more things change more they stay same

The more things change more they stay same

Expect reporters to encircle Eric Bieniemy this week at Super Bowl LIV. The Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator can trust media sessions to include queries on NFL owners and general managers overlooking him as a black candidate for five vacant head coaching positions.This...

Duke notebook on football and basketball

Duke notebook on football and basketball

By Tom Shanahan Special to the Wilson TimesDaniel Jones proved he was a better quarterback than NFL fans judged him at Duke upon taking over the New York Giants’ starting role as the sixth pick of the NFL draft.Quentin Harris, a fifth-year senior who succeeded Jones, showed...

Dan Dierdorf on Coryell and the Hall of Fame

Dan Dierdorf on Coryell and the Hall of Fame

The NFL largely remembers Don Coryell for his dynamic Air Coryell teams in San Diego. Dan Dierdorf begs to differ. “We saw him first in St. Louis,” said Dierdorf. Coryell’s innovative passing game with the old St. Louis Cardinals was sandwiched between equally novel periods...

Super Bowl weekend is a triple play for Lynch

Super Bowl weekend is a triple play for Lynch

John Lynch is a double-header guy, but his circumstances surrounding the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV are beyond fitting for the former football/baseball professional athlete and Stanford letterman in both sports.As the 49ers’ third-year general manager, he has the...

Riley sought to combine West Point with NFL

Riley sought to combine West Point with NFL

#AFAN (Air Force/Army/Navy) stories: My series is about more than academy football players. These stories are about future officers selflessly committed to serving their country during a seemingly endless war on terrorism. There are only 0.5 percent Americans making up the...